A small trip
I am now a term and two days into the life of a stay at home mum where both kids are at school but it feels with these last two days that that life is only just beginning as Christmas term was so taken up with birthdays (the joys of having two Autumn born babies) closely followed by Christmas and all that entailed, as well as a dance show on top, so things weren’t exactly normal. Now things are quieter, my tuition work is picking up (peak period for me is January to May and considering we’re only just out of the holidays things are beginning to look really good on that front, specially if I continue to pick up clients) and I’m thinking about designs I can work on for the very bare and almost empty shop, I also have some other work I am very behind on and that’s not even including the fact that I’ve only just barely started Girl Lacer’s hand made Christmas present *ahem*. And don’t think I have forgotten about the writing (says she who hasn’t written since July), I still have that piece that I had almost finished editing and even though I haven’t even opened it since July I am having a bit of a crisis of confidence about it at the moment but that will get faced, it’s just that there’s only so much me and right now I have to concentrate on the work where I will either definitely get paid (the tuition work) or might get paid (the embroidery work), I know I might get paid for the writing to but I know which is the most likely at the moment. Still, I may not be writing right now but at least after an awful reading dry spell I’m getting back into books in a big way and the first step of being a writer is of course reading lots and I’ve got a couple new plots bubbling away in my head to, although that can be a problem with me as I find I have too many plots and absolutely no idea which one really is the best one (which is probably behind my crisis of confidence with my work-in-progress I should be editing, as I have come so far with it, it is nearly ready and actually I think the plot may be, well, ummm, well put it this way, it’s a plot I thought up around six years ago (as it took me that long to write the thing) and I think I might six years later be far better at thinking up more decent plots now, oh well).
Anyway I’m going majorly off topic, as I wrote above it only feels like now life with both kids at school is getting more like it should be with no Christmas looming (*shudder*), so I feel more confident that I can do some of the things I would have liked to have done last term but never got the time to do and one of those things was taking the occasional trip into central London, which is what I did today, I can’t believe I didn’t do that at all last term. I had some birthday money I’d set aside for fabric and having exhausted my local John Lewis I decided to go to the fabric equivalent of a sweet shop, The Cloth House (which is on Berwick Street, which is just off Oxford Street). I had planned on buying some fabric for clothes (whereas in the old days I would have just of bought the clothes straight off with birthday money), so I was quite surprised that as lovely as The Cloth House is, I didn’t see any fabric I fancied for clothes except for a lovely white cotton linen blend which I’d used before and I’d remembered at the time I was using it (for a much smaller project), thinking how lovely it would be for a tunic top, so I took the roll of that up to the cutting table, along with five other rolls of printed cotton khadi, some of which I’d also purchased before. Unfortunately the white cotton linen blend had a couple of small stains on it, so I didn’t get that in the end, but I did get the cotton khadi and on complete impulse (with the money I would have spent on the cotton linen blend) I bought a wicker basket which The Cloth House was also selling. I could just see it out of the corner of my eye from the cutting table and I knew it was just what I was after (I had been thinking I was going to need a trug or something similar to transport veg back from the allotment – I am getting so ahead of myself, I haven’t even planted it yet – but I thought a basket instead would be perfect and could be used for other things in the way a trug could not). So drum roll, here’s the cotton khadi and the basket.
They didn’t have a bag big enough for the basket so I had to carry that around as is for the rest of the day and what a pleasure it was, the handle is smooth to hold and the whole thing has a nice reassuring weight which made me find myself swinging it ever so slightly in a jaunty way, as if I were Little Red Riding Hood off to meet the wolf. Why on earth did we all stop using baskets? Well I suppose it’s not exactly something you could put your wallet and phone in!
I’d bought the khadi after being slightly stumped at not finding any fabrics I wanted to make clothes out of, with the rough idea I’d use the khadi for some patchwork cushions (with big large pieces to show off the gorgeous designs) but it occurred to me later on the tube back home that the fabric was just perfect for another project I had been planning for this year, this project also happens to be patchwork but is on a much bigger scale (but the khadi I’ve just bought should be enough), so I can’t wait to start now, which is good as since Christmas I’ve been in an embroidery lull (yes this new big project involves embroidery) and I’ve been actually spending my evenings knitting!
After The Cloth House there was really no point in me going home yet, so as I was sort of walking past I did pop into Liberty to see their haberdashery department which I had heard was new and improved, well I thought it looked pretty much the same as it did when I saw it last time. I then, as I had my camera with me, I had planned on taking some pictures by the Thames but it was raining too much, hopped onto the tube and went to the V&A instead. Not for long mind you but with plenty of time to visit the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, which I have a very soft spot for. I’ve visited those particular galleries so often now that some of their pieces almost feel like old friends, such as the fresco where if you stand at just the right distance from it you feel as if you’re about to enter a medieval jousting scene or there’s the bust that looks a little like Captain Picard and then there’s always the joy of finding new things which I’d missed before like The Gloucester Candlestick (am I wrong in thinking that candlestick is mentioned quite a lot in The Children’s Book?) and a blood thirsty tapestry complete with one soldier completely slicing though another soldier’s head, whilst on the other side of the tapestry it looks like there are two soldiers passing the time of day. Anyway I didn’t take that many photos (some of the stuff I had already taken photos of and others I knew a photo would just not be the same) but I did take some, more to practice my composition skills if anything.
I can’t resist the courtyard garden even when it’s raining, but at the point I took this photo it was too wet to photo the current key feature . . .
I bizarrely love this fountain head and have attempted to photograph is before but not to much success, so I was very pleased with how my new camera handled it.
Window shutters from Germany.
The chandelier above the main entrance foyer.
Then luckily it had stopped raining, so quickly back into the courtyard to photograph the Magic Lantern (which was a light with moths fluttering around).